Interventions in Committee
 
 
 
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View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning everyone.
Mr. Palecek, you are the national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, are you not?
It's a pleasure to meet you. We met a great many of your members on our trip, during the committee's 22 public hearings all over the country. Your members repeatedly told us—and I believe you expressed your opinion on the subject as well—that they had absolutely no confidence in the task force's report and that, in many cases, it relied on factually incorrect information. I'm glad we have the opportunity to meet, so you can confirm or deny the statements.
Your members pointed out more than once that the task force's report was based on accounting data from Ernst & Young, which, itself, relied on information from the Conference Board. On Monday, I asked an Ernst & Young representative who appeared before the committee whether his firm's figures were based on those of the Conference Board, and he told me that that was absolutely not the case. I can't understand why, then, your members continue to level that criticism when it hasn't turned out to be true.
What are your comments on that?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Palecek, your members say that the $700-million deficit is not accurate, because Ernst & Young based their accounting study on the Conference Board's findings. That's what all your members across Canada said. However, Ernst & Young confirmed here last Monday that their numbers are not based on the Conference Board's findings.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay, that's interesting.
On the five-point plan, is there anything you agree with in this plan? Have you ever proposed another plan?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay, but when the five-point plan was released, did your side release another route, another avenue to take? Have you officially released a document with a plan? It could have been a good thing.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Finally, sir, I would like you to share with us all the different efforts that were put forward by your group, your members, in the last few years. What exactly have your members been ready to do, or to change, to help Canada Post in the 21st century, with all the different aspects of the new world in terms of delivery and everything?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
What actual changes were made to your working conditions in the past few years?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I often get the sense that your union fails to recognize the financial trouble Canada Post has been in for a few years now. You have, however, agreed to new collective agreements in recent years, and those agreements do somewhat attest to your recognition of the precarious situation Canada Post is in.
How do you explain that, on the one hand, you disagree that Canada Post is in financial trouble and that, on the other hand, you accepted changes to your collective agreement? Was that forced on you? I'm not sure whether you get my meaning.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mrs. Bertrand, I was not here the first time you came to testify before the committee. So I'm very happy to meet you.
My first question is about the solvency break instituted by the previous government. Canada Post's financial situation is precarious. Since our report may be made public in November, Canada Post will not have enough time to receive our recommendations and apply changes that would help its situation improve by 2017.
Do you think the government will have any other choice but to extend that solvency break?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
We have often discussed the issue of the moratorium on post office closures in rural regions. I think that also applies to suburban post offices. We have also often heard the perception that the end of that moratorium would inevitably lead to the crumbling of Canada Post's pan-Canadian infrastructure.
Do you think the moratorium is essential to the maintenance of Canada Post's pan-Canadian structure? Should that moratorium perhaps be reviewed?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
My colleague and I think that post offices in rural regions are very important. By ending the moratorium, we could save rural post offices and close post offices in the suburbs, where there are many franchises. In our opinion, that's really what should be done.
We are somewhat concerned by what we have heard, to the effect that the end of the moratorium would lead to the crumbling of pan-Canadian infrastructure.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In one study, the Conference Board anticipates a deficit of $1 billion and, three years later, Ernst & Young anticipates a deficit of $700 million. Is that reduction attributable to Canada Post's five-point action plan, to a different context or different accounting? The deficit is less than $300 million. Here is the question I am asking myself. Does this mean that the five-point action plan has worked?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I would like to thank the witnesses for being with us this afternoon. We greatly appreciate it.
Mr. Chopra, here is my first question for you. Is Canada Post a symbol of national unity for the country?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Right. Thank you.
I almost forgot; I want to correct a fact for the members of this committee. The Conservative government never gave the mandate to dismantle Canada Post. I don't really agree with my colleague.
Here is my second question for you, Mr. Chopra. I ask it in all due respect. In fact, it's even to your benefit that I'll ask the question so you can defend yourself to this committee.
Throughout our travels, I have repeatedly heard that you had a hidden agenda. The Canada Post unions accused you of pursuing an ideological objective, which was to move toward a kind of privatization.
I would like to know what you have to say about this statement we have heard many times. I'm giving you, sir, the opportunity to express your thoughts on that to this committee.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
It has been three years since the five-year plan was implemented. You have seen the reaction of Canadians in general, as well as that of certain interest groups and political parties.
If you had to redo it today, November 2, 2016, would you create the same five-point plan? Would you remove or add anything?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for being here. I think there are a few French Canadians among you. That's good, so we can have a good discussion.
You know that Mr. Chopra was with us before you arrived. I don't know whether you crossed paths when he left. I hope he shook your hand.
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to come back to one of the things that Mr. Chopra said and that I would like to confirm. He said that both Canada Post management and the employees and various groups and unions that represent Canada Post workers had agreed that Canada Post needs to adjust and renew itself for the 21st century, but he did not go into detail.
Is it true that you and Mr. Chopra agree on that? The question is open to everyone.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You say that you sat down with Mr. Chopra and concluded with him that there was a problem with the pensions. Are you also—you and he—of the opinion that Canada Post needs to renew itself given the changes in the world and the way Canadians use Canada Post?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Maheux. I have several questions, so I'll continue.
Mr. Dubois and Mr. Ling, you mentioned that you support some of the five points. Which ones?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, Ms. Stairs. I am pleased to see you here this morning.
You deal with Canada Post directly, in a business sense, of course. When Canadians order things on eBay and their parcels arrive late, to whom do they complain? Do they complain to eBay or to Canada Post?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
I imagine that it happens very rarely, as you said. However, after the tracking process, when people find out that the delay is due to an error on Canada Post's part, what happens? Are databases turned over to Canada Post? Have you set up a relationship with Canada Post to deal with that?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Has Canada Post ever had to reimburse either you, or the companies that go to your website, because of any delays?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Could you tell me what you think about the plan, especially in terms of the way it has been implemented, that is, between 2013 and the moratorium that has been in effect for a year?
After the five-point plan was implemented, what consequences, if any, have there been for your business?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
In recent weeks, our committee has heard a lot of proposals to add services to Canada Post, especially government services. They affect the employees and the offices alike.
What is eBay's opinion about those additional services? Do you believe that Canada Post will be able to meet your needs as effectively, as quickly and as efficiently if all kinds of services are added? How do you see that?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you.
Ms. Stairs, I want to go back to our discussion on the addition of new government services to Canada Post. You said that doing so would create a distraction and would move away from Canada Post's mandate and core activity.
The suggestions were to have a postal bank, to process passport applications and a whole series of services that now escape me.
In your opinion, which of those new services would create the greatest distraction that would move Canada Post away from its mandate?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, gentlemen. Thank you for joining us today. We appreciate it very much.
I have a series of questions that I can ask in quick succession. Then I will have some more in-depth questions.
I really liked reading your report. On page 13, you say that the Canada Post mission has “a dual mandate”.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In the task force report,
It says that part of Canada Post's mandate is to “provide the same basic and customary service to all Canadians”.
In reality, that has never been the case. Two-thirds of Canadians already pick up their mail at a mailbox and the other third receives it at their doors. So it might be said that the mandate has never truly been observed.
What is your opinion?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
Is it normal that, for a workforce of 50,000 employees, there should be 2,500 senior managers? I’m just asking.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
On page 4 of the task force report, there is this comment: “Since 2011, despite having reduced its headcount by about 10% or approximately 5,800 employees, the corporation’s overall labour costs have remained stable at $4.4 billion.”
What would explain that?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay, I understand. Thank you very much.
If I am not mistaken, the study done a few years ago by the Conference Board of Canada forecast a deficit of $1 billion. Three years later, in your most recent study, you forecast a deficit of $700 million, give or take.
Would you say that the five-point plan allowed the forecast deficit to be decreased by $300 million? Is it the five-point plan that has made for savings of that magnitude?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I understand.
I think that Ms. Ratansi partly addressed the topic I would like to talk about now. On what were your quantitative analyses based? Which figures, which sources, do they use? If I recall correctly, you said that you were dealing more with forecasts than with prior data.
Last week, in western Canada, most of Canada Post workers’ union representatives said that you used Conference Board of Canada figures. We heard that over and over again.
Are you able to confirm or deny that statement?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you.
The moratorium on rural Canada Post office closures has been in effect since 1996, if I am not mistaken. Do you think that, if the moratorium were ended, it would cause an erosion of Canada Post’s infrastructure and would be the beginning of the end of Canada Post?
Do you believe that the moratorium is a tool being used to preserve the very existence of Canada Post’s public service?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Mr. St-Jean, you said that a $700 million deficit is an optimistic figure. What is the less optimistic view? Is it much higher?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I would also like to know if your firm has conducted financial analyses on the postal services in other countries or whether this is the first time that you have done so.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Very good, thank you.
Various suggestions have been made about adding services. In your opinion, which of those services could most likely put Canada Post back on a profitable footing and—at least hopefully—remove its deficit difficulties once and for all?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In European countries, a postal banking service is currently in operation. Does it work well? What could you tell the committee about it?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
We heard testimony from officials of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Canada Post’s biggest trade union. They constantly said that your figures were in error or were based on other figures that were in error.
Despite that, are you comfortable that the task force report is reliable and that the Ernst & Young study was independent? Is the union being dishonest? Can Ernst & Young state that the figures really were obtained independently and they are not in error?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you very much for being here with us today.
I would like to start with Ms. Hemmings.
You are talking about temporary measures, such as relaxing the solvency funding requirements. Canada Post is relying on this measure right now.
Has Canada Post used this measure before or is it the first time?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In a way, yes. However, the solvency relief granted to Canada Post at this time, which you refer to in your notes, is for five years and will end in 2017. Is it the first time Canada Post has been granted this particular relief?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Fine, thank you.
Aside from the study on Canada Post our committee is conducting at this time, do you know if your minister Mr. Morneau and the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada are holding meetings? As a parallel process to the study by our committee, have the two departments launched cooperative processes to work together to find solutions to Canada Post's current problems?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Fine.
In the last sentence of the next-to-last paragraph in your notes, you say that the purpose of the relief was to provide Canada Post with the time to make itself financially sustainable. In the last paragraph you say that thanks to the recommendations of our committee—and we hope they will be good ones, since the government seems to be counting on them a great deal—you will be able to provide advice by 2017 to the Minister of Finance, following the release of our report.
However, even if our report contains fantastic recommendations and miracle solutions, in a year, in 2017, when the five-year relief measure is set to expire, it will be too soon for our recommendations or the new measures to have been implemented. Moreover, the Canada Post deficit will not have been liquidated.
In short, do you know if the Minister of Finance is already considering extending the funding relief granted under the Canada Pension Plan?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Without necessarily speculating as to what the minister thinks, can you tell me, as a public service professional, if you think he is going to have to extend this relief?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Madam.
Mr. Skinner and Mr. St-Germain, thank you for your presentation. Math has never been my long suit. I do not understand the graphs at all. My area is political philosophy. However, I would like to understand the situation.
You talked about the risks that could occur if the solvency obligation was removed. What would those risks be, exactly?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
My next question is for Ms. Hemmings.
Do you confirm the conclusions of the working group concerning the general deficit of Canada Post, or is this question completely outside your field?
I would in any case like to know your point of view.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Yes, I should have been more specific. I was talking about the overall Canada Post deficit.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I am talking about the report that was prepared by the working group. This was the first phase of the study on Canada Post. I would simply like to know, generally speaking, if the Department of Finance agreed with the deficit as it was set out.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I have another question for you, Mr. Skinner and Mr. St-Germain.
Representatives of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have repeatedly told us that in their opinion the pension plan is not necessarily in deficit.
In your opinion, are they playing politics, or are they basing their opinion on actuarial studies conducted by some of your colleagues?
When they say that their pension plan is not in deficit, is that statement based on facts?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for being with us this afternoon.
I am going to continue with you, Mr. Hannah, on the issue you have just raised. In Canada, at this time, what is the proportion of applications coming from students who are looking for work, as compared to the number of positions on offer in the banking sector? Are there any data on this?
I'm going to word the question in another way.
How many applications do you receive from people looking for work in the banking sector, as compared to the number of positions available?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Fine.
Mr. Irwin, if I'm not mistaken, your association is more or less in favour of a postal banking service, correct?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Fine.
You were saying that one of the objectives set out by those who are in favour of the creation of a postal banking service is to broaden access to credit.
Do you think that if Canada Post offered banking services, Canadians would have greater access to credit in all of its forms?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Fine.
My question is for you once again, Mr. Hannah.
In your document you present figures that indicate that thanks to the Internet and online services, Canadians have more access than ever to banking services. However, while travelling throughout Canada in the course of these 22 public consultation meetings we have held, our committee has observed that Canadians have trouble accessing the Internet because they live in very rural regions, or very remote areas in the North. Also, some bank branches are closing.
I think it would be good to know what you are saying to those Canadians. Personally, I hate cell phones, even though you saw me using one. In fact, I don't have a choice. I do prefer going to my bank in Beauport, where I live, to do my transactions. I function in a somewhat archaic way. I am conservative, after all.
As a representative of the Canadian Bankers Association, what do you have to say to these Canadians, whether they are seniors or people who live in rural areas, who have indicated that they have less access to banking services than they used to?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you.
I'd like to talk about another aspect my colleague mentioned, that is the amount of money Canada Post would have to have access to, from the outset. My colleague asked you what sort of money Canada Post would need to have on hand. He spoke of billions of dollars and you smiled, and said that it would be an enormous amount.
Generally speaking, what are the liquidities of Canadian bank branches? For instance, how much money does a regular National Bank branch, located on the side of the road in my riding, have in its coffers?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Mr. Hannah, my question is for you once again.
You are certainly aware that Canada Post once had a banking service system. This was before 1968. You undoubtedly know how this system functioned. Could you talk to us about it briefly? Did it offer the same type of banking services as a traditional bank?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Yes, but history books exist. That is why I was asking you.
How did the banking sector do at the time, since Canada Post was an additional competitor? That is what I would like to know. What was the competition exactly? Did the Canada Post Corporation function well in that environment? Did it suspend its banking services because they were not profitable, perhaps? That was what I was trying to get at with my question.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I will continue with my questions.
Mr. Hannah, as you were saying, there are already foreign banks in Canada that do good business.
In your opinion, how long would it take Canada Post to get into the Canadian banking market and comply with all of the rules and regulations of the banking system?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Precisely, Mr. Hannah, and this leads me to my next question.
What physical changes would Canada Post have to make to its post offices, both in rural and urban areas, to convert them into banking facilities?
You make me think of the fact that this would surely require huge investments, because the current premises would have to be transformed. We are talking about a physical transformation. They would need a vault, and so on. I want to go back to the issue of banks' liquidities. It takes room to store money. It would be quite a job.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
You were also saying that we should not be mistaken: of course the banks like their clientele in the rural regions, and their objective is to have a good relationship with their clients and to meet the demand.
Has the banking sector ever considered sending representatives to people's homes, for example? Recently, a mortgage specialist came to my home. Does that exist for regular services?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Very well.
My next question is addressed to Mr. Martin.
As you were saying, we are discussing a postal banking service for the purpose of resolving Canada Post's financial difficulties, that is to say the deficit projected by 2026. In your opinion, that is not necessarily the solution. So it may be somewhat awkward to talk about a postal banking service.
I would like to hear you on the 10 other suggestions that were made over the past few weeks, or months, regarding additional services Canada Post could offer. I am thinking of passports, for instance, or issuing driver's licences—even though this is a matter of provincial responsibility—and of assistance to the elderly. These are services that are provided in Switzerland, France, and elsewhere.
What do you have to say about that?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I thank the witnesses for being here with us.
Mr. Druker, you said that you would like to conclude an agreement with Canada Post. The UPS Store is present in the United States, it goes without saying. What working relationship do you have with the United States Postal Service, the USPS? Is it different from the one you have with Canada Post?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay, I understand, but could you give me some details on the formula that is used?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Fine.
Ms. Falcone, can you tell me whether the expansion of Canada Post's activities in the parcel post sector has had repercussions on your enterprise, and if so, could you describe them?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I am talking about all your activities related to parcel delivery.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Over the past five years, the quantity of parcels delivered by Canada Post has increased.
What repercussions have there been on your business, whose main activity is parcel delivery?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
You also spoke of the best practices found in other countries, including Australia. Can you give us other examples?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Gentlemen, thank you for being here this evening.
I'll start with you, Mr. Mackrell. Do you think Canada Post should provide other services such as banking or government services, in particular passport services? What's your opinion on this issue?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That's interesting. Today, most of the witnesses, like you, emphasized how important it is for Canada Post to not get involved in other services that would constitute distractions and to remain focused on its core mission. This seems to be the theme of the day.
In your presentation, you suggested that Canada Post should control its costs. That's obviously the most laudable element. Also, it was indicated that labour accounts for 70% of Canada Post's total operating expenses. How should labour costs, which represent 70% of the total costs, be controlled?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Mackrell.
Mr. Bacon, Mr. Mackrell spoke of having further synergies between Purolator and Canada Post. The report prepared by the task force mentioned that Canada Post could save around $16 million annually by having further synergies with the Purolator group.
Do you agree with that statement?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Are there any obstacles blocking these collaborations? If you were to collaborate more, what do you think would be the main challenges?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
If you don't mind, I would like to have an idea of Purolator's current financial situation.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I have a standard question. How have the changes in parcel delivery in recent years affected Purolator and how have you adjusted to the situation?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
There has been an increase in parcel deliveries because Canadians are ordering their products more and more often over the Internet.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Since the increase in parcel deliveries has had an impact on the business-to-consumer model, you haven't been affected much by the change.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, everyone.
I have one question for each of you, but I will start with Mr. Leong.
Are you familiar with the five-point action plan that Canada Post proposed in 2013 to ensure the long-term sustainability of its activities and budget? Are you familiar with the various measures in the plan?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I'll go over it. The question is for Ms. Lyons as well.
The five points are: the conversion from door-to-door delivery to community mailboxes, a new approach to pricing, the set-up of franchise post offices—in pharmacies, for instance—streamlining operations, and addressing labour costs.
We have heard from a lot of witnesses on those various points. Some were in favour and some were opposed.
Could you tell me how you feel about those measures put forward by Canada Post?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Ms. Lyons, that actually brings me to my next question. Right now, there is a moratorium on Canada Post office closures. In this committee, on a number of occasions, we have heard the following proposal from witnesses. It was an interesting suggestion.
As you may know, urban centres have grown significantly in the past decades. A number of Canada Post offices are now in the suburbs of major cities where five post offices are serving those very same suburbs.
For instance, my colleague from Edmonton said that he was able to see about 20 post offices in five minutes by car.
Do you think it would be useful to end the moratorium on the office closures in order to close those in urban centres? That might generate savings to keep the post offices in rural regions.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In 2013, when Canada Post implemented the community mailboxes measure in a number of municipalities, did you see or notice any changes in your company's sales? Did you notice a direct impact on your company?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Good morning, everyone. My thanks for being here with us today.
Representatives from the Canadian Union of Postal Workers have been at almost all the committee meetings held this week. You are diligent, that's fantastic.
I would like to begin by asking Mr. Bennett how many members there are in his local.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay. That's impressive.
Last week, I noticed across Canada that most of your colleagues seem to have doubts about Canada Post's deficit estimates. I'm talking about the $750 million deficit estimated by 2026. Do you have doubts about those estimates, just like your colleagues in the rest of Canada?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I can understand your doubts, but I'm a little confused about something. The task force appointed by the Liberal government has released its report recently—our study follows up on the report—that presents the same findings about the deficit as Canada Post.
How do you explain that, three years later, the task force has come to the same conclusions, flawed conclusions according to you?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
There was a study by Ernst & Young that came to the same result.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
In 2013, Canada Post submitted its five-point action plan. One question springs to mind.
Have the Canada Post workers proposed a similar plan to ensure the corporation's long-term sustainability?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
I think the big problem now is that there are two visions that are based on two different assumptions. Canada Post management claims that there will be a deficit in 10 years, and that the profitability and the very existence of the corporation are threatened. However, labour unions argue that the profitability and solvency are fine. Personally, I take a neutral position.
Assuming that Canada Post is right, and that a huge deficit builds up within 10 years, do you think it would be laudable and reasonable to ask workers to make efforts? Let’s not really talk about salary cuts, which nobody wants. Would your union be ready to accept a reduction in annual sick leave?
Actually, most Canadians don’t have access to those types of benefits. In your opinion, how much effort should workers put in on their own initiative to improve the situation at Canada Post?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'll start with you, Professor Camfield. Do you see Canada Post as a national symbol of federal unity?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
That’s wonderful.
I understand what you are saying and it may even be the truth. In your opinion, the members of the task force did not have the knowledge required to accomplish their task, and they promoted a certain vision, a certain model.
However, what do you have to say about their accounting work?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
For example, the task force suggested that the deficit could reach $700 million by 2026. That figure was produced, analyzed and confirmed by Ernst & Young. So it wasn’t the members of the task force per se who reached those conclusions. In that case, would you say that Ernst & Young also has a worldview that promotes privatization?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
In this committee, I have learned that Canada Post provided banking services until 1968. Do you know why the corporation cancelled that service? Can you tell us about it?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Okay.
However, you did say that providing banking services would be a good initiative.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you very much, Professor.
My question is now open to everyone. Any of you can answer.
If we opt for banking services, Canada Post’s 50,000 employees will have to be trained, so that they can provide that type of service. That surely would cost astronomical amounts. Who do you think should pay for the training of those 50,000 employees?
A very significant amount of money, perhaps around $500 million, would also have to be invested to set up the service. Two weeks ago, one of my colleagues mentioned that figure. In your opinion, where should the money come from to launch the banking service?
We can perhaps start with Mr. Rebeck.
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Let me ask you another question, Mr. Sosa.
Canada Post proposed that, once a week, employees gather all the mail from the community mailboxes for people with reduced mobility and seniors who have difficulty getting around, and deliver it to their homes.
It seems that the task force found that a number of associations representing people with reduced mobility consider that an interesting option.
Would you be in favour of such a service being provided?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
My first question is for all three groups here.
According to your members, is Canada Post a national symbol of federal unity?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you.
Ms. Button, you mentioned that your members more or less agreed on Canada Post's five-point action plan. You specified, however, that the quality of service should remain very high.
Can you please elaborate on what high-quality service means to your and your members?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
Thank you.
Mr. Lafleur, you're part of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, right?
View Alupa Clarke Profile
CPC (QC)
During the recent consultations, the committee met with a number of Canadian Union of Postal Workers members who seemed to question the budget and deficit forecasts of $750 million by 2026.
Do you also question these forecasts, which were supported by the task force?
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